Leonardo S.p.A.

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Group.png Leonardo S.p.A.  
(Arms manufacturerWebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Leonardo logo.png
HeadquartersRome, Italy
8th biggest arms manufacturer in the world by sales

Leonardo S.p.A., formerly Leonardo-Finmeccanica and originally Finmeccanica, is an Italian multinational company specialising in aerospace, defence and security. Headquartered in Rome, Italy, the company has 180 sites worldwide.[1] It is the eighth largest defence contractor in the world based on 2018 revenues.[2] The company is partially owned by the Italian government, which holds 30.2% of the company's shares and is its largest shareholder.



Finmeccanica was founded in 1948 as a sub-holding of the state-owned IRI and initially controlled mechanical and automotive companies such as Alfa Romeo and Ansaldo. In the aeronautical sector, Finmeccanica was only present through Aeritalia, the other aeronautical and defense companies such as Agusta, Aermacchi, Breda or Selenia remained private or belonged to other IRI holdings such as Efim or Stet. At the end of the 1980s, Finmeccanica initiated a concentration of the various aerospace companies, electronics and weapons manufacturers, a process that intensified significantly in the 1990s as part of the rationalization and privatization measures in the state-controlled industry. Along with Fincantieri, Finmeccanica was the only former state holding company that emerged stronger from the economic and financial crises of the 1990s and was then able to establish itself as the most important Italian technology group on the world market. In 2004 the group took over the British helicopter manufacturer Westland, and in 2008 the US armaments company DRS Technologies for over 5 billion dollars.

In 2011, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti announced that investigations into a corruption scandal involving Finmeccanica, which had been ongoing for a year, would be intensified. In connection with this, the head of the Italian air traffic control ENAV, Guido Pugliesi, the sales manager of the Finmeccanica subsidiary SELEX Sistemi Integrati, Manlio Fiore, and an accountant, Marco Iannilli, were arrested for tax fraud and money laundering. Proceedings were also instituted against Finmeccanica President Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, who resigned in December 2011, because of illegal money accounts abroad and bribery.[3]

In May 2012, the 59-year-old nuclear manager of a subsidiary of Finmeccanica, Roberto Adinolfi, was shot in the right knee. A letter of confession was published by the "Olga" cell of the Federazione Anarchica Informale, which announced seven further attacks on Finmeccanica managers.[4] In February 2013, Finmeccanica boss Giuseppe Orsi was arrested on suspicion of corruption, an arrest warrant was issued for the boss of AgustaWestland, Bruno Spagnolini, and extradition requests were made against two managers living in Switzerland.[5] Finmeccanica was headed by former Italian police chief Giovanni De Gennaro and former railway chief Mauro Moretti.

Creation of Leonardo

De Gennaro and Moretti initiated a major reorganization and rationalization, during which various business areas were abandoned and the remaining subsidiaries, including the helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland, the aircraft manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi, the defense and electronics company Selex ES and the defense contractors Oto Melara and Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei were merged under the old holding name Finmeccanica and initially formed seven departments there. In 2016, the restructured company was temporarily given the name Leonardo-Finmeccanica, at the beginning of January 2017 the name was changed to Leonardo and the company was thus named after the polymath Leonardo da Vinci, who, among other things, presented designs for various aircraft and military equipment, including helicopters, submarines, siege engines and tanks.

Alessandro Profumo

In may 2017, the Board of Directors appointed Alessandro Profumo as the new Chief Executive Officer.

In 2015, Profumo was found guilty of market rigging and false accounting by an Italian court for committing fraud in 2015 when he was at the helm of a major Italian bank, but he will keep his job, according to the company. Profumo was given a six-year jail sentence Thursday for fraud related to when he was CEO of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, a position he held before he was appointed to run the Italian defense company Leonardo in 2017. Italian jail sentences only become effective after cases are heard by an appeals court and then by Italy’s Supreme Court — a process that can take years.[6]

Corruption against Leonardo

In January 2021, the financial police confiscated documents as part of an investigation for money laundering, tax crimes and corruption against Leonardo. The latter is an offense for which 10 managers of the group are responsible. Payments of bribes were made thanks to the Google Payments service, which made it possible to hide the identity of the people involved. Some executives of the supplier company Trans-Part srl, based in Milan and which is under investigation, paid the managers of the former Finmeccanica group gifts and fees to obtain orders, even for fictitious contracts. Bribes included round of payments in the form of extra or monthly or annual fees, "out of bag" commissions on contracts awarded and gifts such as fuel vouchers or to spend in computer, telephone, TV and appliance stores, and then objects of appreciable value such as pens brand.[7]


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David CareyChairman of the Proxy BoardJuly 2009
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